Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Little Coincidences

I'm hard at work painting a table that will later be auctioned off to raise money for my sons' high school and watching an old movie just to prove that the female-powered ability to multitask doesn't lose its punch. However I've been asked---nay---ordered to post something today by Debbie so, I put a little Mary J. Blige in the cd player and waited for the muse to pay a call...and then I thought about this.

So many of my new friends out there in the blogosphere are gestating. Or they've just given birth. Or they're enduring draconian medical tests in order to become mothers. All of this brought to mind the three times I waddled into the hospital resembling nothing smaller than a Buick...or a parade float...and came back out with a little baby boy. All three boys were born in the Spring. All three incrementally tardy in making their appearance on Earth (2 days late, 4 days late, 8 days late). The thing that always makes the best stories are the tiny hints we received days or moments before each boy was born about when he/she might finally show up and whether it was a boy or a girl.

The year I was pregnant with the first one, I was a teacher. I had seven students named Jennifer and my husband and I, both voracious readers, were intent upon baby names that were distinctive but--at the same time--wouldn't scar the kid unduly or get the crap beat out of him on the playground.

Our girl name was always the same...India...after a great-grandmother. The middle name was Charlotte...after my favorite children's book, "Charlotte's Web". We knew that the first kid, if a boy, would have the first name of Greyson and the middle name "Atticus" after Atticus Finch in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Up to the hour he was born, we had no idea of his gender, but the day before this first baby was born, my husband started working on a house located on Mockingbird Avenue. We thought it just an interesting little detail at the time.

We were certain that the second baby was a girl. Greyson was five months old when we found out that I was pregnant again. (surprise!!). I was certain this one was a girl...mainly because I thought that coming from a family of girls would eventually bring one into my own house. I was even bigger and carrying low. This baby slept ALOT and wasn't nearly as active as the first one. The only one not named for books, we selected the first name of Tucker and the family name of Adams for his middle. During the last few moments of pushing what wound up being a 9 pound baby out of my body, the doctor asked the delivery nurse if she thought they should use the "Tucker 14's". I said, "Hey...that's what we're naming this kid if he's a boy." The doctor looked momentarily puzzled and asked, "You're naming your baby after a pair of forceps?" We didn't need the forceps...but we kept the name.

The last one was the only kid whose gender we decided to figure out prior to birth. We knew it would be the last one and I thought knowing ahead of time would make it easier. I had given up on the idea of having a girl, for the most part, and really liked boys so it wasn't a disappointment at all to find out I would be performing a gestational "hat trick" by producing a third one. This one we named after Holden Caulfield in "Catcher in the Rye" and the writer of the Little House books. The kid we would call Wilder was significantly tardy in making his debut. Eight days doesn't sound like a long time unless you have gained 65 pounds in 9 months and spend the day eating french fries with two pre-schoolers and enduring five showings of "Dumbo" every 24 hours. For us, it wasn't a matter of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" but more like trying to figure out just when in hell he was showing up. In a moment of desperation, I confess to calling "Psychic Friends Network" and begging them for a due date. Interestingly enough, they were right on the money. It would take exactly one week from the night I called. I should have just consulted my tv guide. The week that son #3 was born, two movies were scheduled to be broadcast. " Dear Wife" (Starring William Holden and Joan Caulfield) and "Stalag 17" (Starring William Holden and directed by Billy Wilder). The answers were there all the time.

Any life coincidences out there you'd like to share? They don't even have to be about babies. All of life's intersections are interesting.


Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Thank you!! Great post by the way. Eerie how those names were destined.

Here's a moment from my life....while coming down to the wire on the wedding plans to my husband (#2) I was a little panicked at making a second mistake. Driving down the road after getting the blood test done I thought "How do I know if he's the one?" then my next thought was, "Oh shit, I didn't order any flowers!" At that moment, my intended took my hand and out of his mouth came these words, "Do you want me to order flowers?" I looked at him in wonder. He had read my mind and I knew it was a sign. I was immediately at ease and knew he was my true love and perfect soulmate.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

Wordgirl, you funny. You no tell me about psychic hotline. I will tell you about funny coincidence when my head stops pounding from headache.

5:20 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

This was a fabulous post. I loved hearing about all the little coincidences and I LOVE the names you chose for your sons. I tried to get Dave to warm up to Atticus...he wouldn't.

5:46 PM  
Blogger The June Cleaver Diaries said...

I page my husband at work a couple of times a day to check in--- he's cool with it. 9 times out of 10, he'll call right back, and say "Hey, how's it going? Oh wait--- my pager's going off--- oh--- I'm getting your page as we speak."

Also, I lived in Syracuse in middle school, before moving to St. Louis. When I was 10, my aunt took me to see a show. I kept watching one of the kids in the show--- turns out to be my husband. Also, we used to skate at the same rink (wierd), and he told me I looked like a girl he always looked at but was too shy to skate with. Riiiight. But then he described a pair of barrets I was wearing, and I was the only one who had them--- remember the ones made by braiding 2 ribbons down the center of a metal clip? Well, I was so cool I had 7 ribbons in each one--- the whole damn rainbow. And he's the one that brought them up, 15 years later.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I don't have any coincidences, foreshadowing, psychic episodes to speak of, but I am very glad that Debbie talked you into posting today.

Our two kids are named after people very special to us, both of them influential during the hellish teen years. Madeleine was instrumental in keeping me sane during high school, and Quinn did the same for Jim. So far their namesakes seem to be tearing apart all that sanity...

7:22 PM  
Blogger Melanhead said...

I remember going to Disneyland on two separate occasions. Both times our family saw an informal dance and song routine involving Mary Poppins. Each time she would pirourette into the audience and hand over a bouquet of flowers to an audience member. Both times it was me. It was magical, because I so wanted to be Mary Poppins.

7:23 PM  
Blogger The Queen Mama said...

Not a big coincidence, but a birthdays thing in my little nuclear family that I've always thought it was kind of odd. My mom and dad have birthdays that are one day after the other...Oct. 11 and 12. My older brother and sister's birthdays are neighbors, too...Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. And then there's me. All out in the cold, by myself, July 6.

Did I just put you to sleep?

A fun read, by the way. And a little eerie there at the end. Cool.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

What wonderful experiences.

I am drawing a blank on the coincidences.

9:45 PM  
Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

My sister's first two kids were born on June 8 (6/8) and August 6 (8/6). I always thought that was kind of neat. Makes it easy to remember birthdays.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

Fascinating post! Here are my two strange coincidences:

1. My Mom was flying out to see my Great Grandmother. She stepped off the plane and smelled her perfume. It was then that she knew she'd passed away.

2. The last night I spent in the Flop House I was goofing off with a deck of cards when the, "Queen of Swords" card flipped out and landed on my leg. The meaning of the card being, "To fight for what you believe in." That night I got in a huge knock-down-drag-out with a roommate that resulted in the cops being called.

I like the name Novalee for a girl. I get mixed reviews about it.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Rock said...

Sheesh,, I've heard this story at least a dozen times.

Wordgirl - finally got a bit of rant on the sister blog.

By the way - what's going on? (Actually in-state today - ye-aahh!)

7:54 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

What a great post... Hmmm coincidences...

- Once, while traveling from Madrid to Pensacola I was making a connection through JFK and literally ran into my old middle school locker partner.

- I was going through old photos from some shows my old band put on. In some of the photos, you can see the audience fairly close up and in one photo I can see at least three people who I didn't know at the time, but who later became close friends.

- On a related note, I was passing out flyers for the same band with a bandmate. He stopped an old highschool friend to give her a flyer and cd. Fast forward two years and I'm on the first date with a girl and I find the cd and flyer on her shelf. She turned out to be my first wife.

8:04 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Rock- When did I ever tell you any of this stuff?

9:20 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

That is so neat. I believe in the interconnectivity of things in all of our universes. If you look for them, the signs are always there.
Thanks for reminding me to keep my eyes open and I love your boys' names. Very distinguished sounding for adults yet not too grown up for kids.

12:15 PM  
Blogger The Editors said...

Well, I wasn't going to leave a comment, I was just wandering around various blogs to see what's going on, clicking on Kestral's commentators (liked your comment about the Target T-shirt) but I DO have a coincidence to report. I do have a son, and he does have an interesting name we picked out of a baby book, but the coincidence doesn't revolve around him. I wrote an essay called, WHY I'M STILL MARRIED and then I met another writer who said to me, in the course of conversation about all sorts of things, "I have and essay called, WHY I'M STILL MARRIED." To make a long story short, we collaborated on a book of essays by married women writers and it's just out and guess what--it's called, WHY I'M STILL MARRIED.

1:13 PM  
Blogger theyellowwallpaper said...

Wow! What a great story. I love your writing style - So wonderfully descriptive. I too once broke down my freshman year in college and called the psychic hotline. They told me I'd be a teacher one day. Wouldn't you know it? I'm heading back to college soon to get my teaching certificate.

Alas, I don't have any witty story behind naming my two children. The first was choosen from a heavily highlighted baby book and the second, was provided by friends of ours, who never had a boy.

8:11 PM  
Blogger mrtl said...

Excellent stories! I have some, but too long to post here.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Oh, how those little coincidences make life magic! I have a good one, but it's too long for the comments section. I'll post to my blog over the weekend. Love the kids' names, BTW!

4:40 PM  
Blogger jess said...

I have a great but long coincidence story about a blind date that maybe I'll get around to telling on my blog one of these days.

My shorter coincidence story is that last winter I went to Providence to visit a friend. We took the train to Boston for the day, where we ran into a high school classmate (from Oregon) we hadn't seen in years, who happened to be in town visiting his sister. We were going up the subway escalator and he was going down and we all just looked at each other in astonishment, then he came up back up to chat.

I like your coincidences.

3:32 PM  

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